More European – VeryEuroBritProblems

Inspired by my last lesson and not only the preparation, but also the ensuing discussion coming from it, I thought I would elucidate on a few of the challenges I have faced, and any Brit may when moving to Germany.

Very EuroBrit Problems

  • Converting from imperial to metric.  

I do not hear the phrase from family and friends ” What is that in (insert imperial unit here i.e. Fahrenheit) as much as I used to, as I tend to say I do not think like that or I no longer convert. Although I do somehow miss ordering a pint. Although I have picked up the phrase Na, klar! Groß. (Of course, a large one) as an automatic response to the enquiry from the bar staff if I want a large or small (Groß oder Klein?) beer.

  • Showing visitors how to use a window handle to kip (tilt) or open one.

I had great fun using this with my Chinese civil engineer students as an exercise in settling in. But also the logistics of the movement can get you in a pickle. Especially as a lot of Brits like to air their rooms, flat or house. I wonder if this is the same for Americans, as they are so used to air-con.

  • Defending English food. 

Not something I have to do as often, as most of my friends and acquaintances know I can cook and have a quite diverse palette. Despite bad habits in England of eating TV dinners, microwaving food or eating unhealthy I find the heartiness of German food is a big similarity to traditional English food. Strangely in my last lesson, I had a sudden craving for Walkers Crisps in White Bread. I still miss some ethnic dishes from the UK, especially good spicy Indian food and Dim Sum.

  • Everyone thinking as a Brit you must be a Monarchist.

Despite my immediate family being staunch royalists, I am a Republican. Often I get shocked expressions from Germans as I exclaim that the  Royal Family should be sold off to Disneyland. Beyond the ambassadorial duties and the touristic appeal, I do see them as an anachronistic tradition and drain on the economy.

  • The quaint idea of teatime.

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This is no different from German coffee and cake time (Kaffee und Kuchenzeit). Just in England, it is a little later in the afternoon and not just Sundays (the main tradition I have experienced in Saxony). Despite the image prevailing it does not involve the best china, scones, jams, doilies and extended little fingers. As a long convert to coffee, I am not really such a big tea drinker and if so only Yorkshire Tea.

Any EuroBrits out there wanna add what they think are VeryEuroBritProblems?

 

 

 

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A native Brit, Stewart is from the East Midlands. He has worked all over England and has been in Germany since 2002. Through working with the youth and the disabled he has been able to fine tune his communication skills. A Cambridge qualified (CELTA/LCCI CerTEB) instructor of English as a Foreign Language, he also has experience as a copy editor/ proof reader specializing in Higher Education and Business English. He assists established companies & local English trainers (LELTA) in optimizing their platforms, markets & copy (texts). With a Bachelors degree in English & Art, he brings diverse skills within a broad palette to his academic courses, an English speakers community (So Social Club) & an art project (Lebenskunstler). Not only focusing on creative expression but exemplary use of language.

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